The Winter Seminar 11-11-11

Florida’s Winter Seminar was a perfect storm this year. All systems go – the weather, the Sensei, the etiquette discussion – the aikido group was charged with energy. Click here to view the pictorial account which gives you a true sense of magic on the beach.

To give you some history about the seminar, Yamada Sensei began organizing the annual event in Florida in 1979. There was a small dojo in Ft. Lauderdale and he asked us to help him set up an end of the year meeting for the United States Aikido Federation with a seminar. The intension was to host the USAF meeting in Florida for one year and then it would move around the country. It never moved. We had a successful first year. And every year since Yamada Sensei says to me after the seminar “OK let’s do it here again. I want to come back next year”– 32 years later we are still here.

I had the opportunity to interview Yamada Sensei at this year’s seminar to talk about the history of the Winter Seminar and his role in it. He told me that the event is a reflection of Aikido in the United States. We started with nothing, now we have 400 people on the mat! It is great to hear his account. Please enjoy the video moment with me.

I also had the opportunity to interview each of the USAF Technical Committee – Harvey Konigsberg, Claude Berthiume, Peter Bernath, Donovan Waite, Bob Zimmermann, Steve Pimsler, and Andy Demko. Stay tuned and view see a mix of their interviews and their winter seminar classes.

A special thank you goes to Dominic Flores, whose amazing photography is now on display in the official Winter Seminar Photo Album,
and to Jonathan Weiner who created our special videos of Winter Camp, as seen here in the Interview with Yamada Sensei, and the teaser for USAF Technical Committee Interviews

Every year the seminar gets better. Don’t miss out on the fun. See you next year!

Penny Bernath
6th dan, Shidoin
Florida Aikikai

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